Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

A new guitar for my neighbor

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by TRexF16, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Some of you might remember a post made a couple years back on discovering, after his passing, that one of my neighbors was not only a luthier but also an accomplished jazz guitarist. I only learned of it when I saw and estate sale notice and picked a tremendous haul of good stuff at it.
    a few months back, I saw that the new owner of the home was making a bunch of renovations, and had pulled off the douglas fir fascia boards, which were old school full 2 inch thick by 10 inch wide. I met Michael, the new owner, and found out hw is about my age and also a woodworker and a guitarist, and a fan of similar music to me. I asked him for those cast off boards and he gave me all 40 feet of it. Here it is in front of my shop getting the nails cleaned out.
    Since Michael already had a Strat, I decided to make him a Tele from these timbers as a gift in exchange for the wood. I built the body in secret and then brought him in on the design after surprising him with the body. I got a real clear blank out of it but had to work around a knot hole and the nail holes:
    IMG_5126.JPG IMG_5137.JPG
    I had routed it for regular tele pickups but Michael decided he wanted a humbucker in the neck so I had to rout in the humbucker cavity and glue in a bit of hardwood scrap so the pickup rings would be well supported.
    IMG_5169.JPG IMG_5175.JPG
    I think I'm at the file upload limit so I'll skip to a new post:
  2. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    The rest of it was pretty straightforward. Michael ordered a custom wound Tele bridge and matching low wind 4-wire humbucker from John Benson. I wired it with a standard rear control tele 3-way and a SPDT on-off-on mini switch by the tone knob so the humbucker could be full-on, or split to either coil. Michael chose a smallish strat-shaped headstock from the "fender headstocks" pdf and I built it with a curly maple neck and Bitterroot truss rod. He has kind of a flourish signature which I incorporated into a custom made for decal for the back of the headstock. IMG_5633.JPG IMG_5633.JPG IMG_5637.JPG IMG_5639.JPG IMG_5640.JPG

    It sounds just fantastic and has a huge range of tones. Michael took it home yesterday and is just thrilled with it.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2017
  3. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

    I'm sure I have some old boards around here somewhere, so you could make me one of those things.
    Seriously, nice job, looks great.
  4. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
  5. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nice work.... a great way to meet your neighbour and get on the same page...

    nicely seasoned old wood like that is the best for guitars...:)

    I use a lot of similar wood from recycle yards as well....

    BG end grain1.jpg
  6. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Holic

    Jun 17, 2008
    I do remember your other post. Beautiful guitar, in every way, I particularly love the straight grain on the body. what did you finish the body in? and what does it say on the back of the neck all the way down by the heel?
  7. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
  8. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    Iowa City, IA
    It's guys like you that make the world a better place. Thanks for picking up the slack.
    brookdalebill likes this.
  9. CoyotesGator

    CoyotesGator Tele-Meister

    Jul 12, 2014
    Gulf Coast
  10. oldrebel

    oldrebel Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Oct 23, 2011
    Lynchburg Tennessee
    That is truly great!!
  11. h2odog

    h2odog Tele-Meister

    Feb 16, 2017
    The Dalles, Oregon
    Beautiful guitar and great story to go with it. Thanks for sharing!
  12. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    The body and neck are both Watco lacquer. Under the clear Watco, the body got light coats of garnet shellac until the color was right, and the neck got Watco with 50/50 Amber and Medium Brown Trans-Tint - I think one drop each in 6 oz lacquer. The neck is "as sprayed" on the fretboard, polished out on the headstock and heel, and matted on the back of the neck rubbed out with 000-equivalent synthetic steel wool pad. The body is level wet-sanded to 600, and then rubbed out to matte with the same synthetic steel wool and Minwax paste wax, followed up with the white super fine synthetic steel wool & paste wax, then buffed. I can get the mfg. #'s on the pads.

    Down by the heel is the serial number, S/N: 011. S/N 006, 007, and 008 are still unfinished as I keep getting sidetracked by new efforts, but I'll get 'em done one of these days...

    Thanks for the kind words fellas,

  13. imploration

    imploration Tele-Meister

    Sep 19, 2010
    Beautiful work!!!
  14. Silverwhoosh

    Silverwhoosh TDPRI Member

    Aug 1, 2012
    Birmingham, UK
    Looks great! Love the fact that nail hole hit the neck pocket bang on centre; must have taken some great measurement skill!

    I am looking to do the exact same sort of wiring for a build I am doing; do you have a wiring diagram I/we could see? I'm not the most experienced at wiring! ;)
  15. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
  16. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Well, It's been a while and I don't have my notes, but let's try! I'm sitting in my quarters on an all expenses paid "vacation" to Iraq, referencing my records on my laptop, but I'm going to try to get you there...
    This is the basic wiring diagram that forms the foundation:
    470K Resistor Addition SD diagram.jpg
    You'll be wanting 500K pots, and the 470K resistor shown in this diagram makes sure the bridge pickup "sees" 250K so it's not too shrill. Mine was a reverse control plate so I turned things around but if you ignore the mini-switch and treble bleed shown in this pic the rest accomplished the same thing. Neither the 470 K resistor nor the pickup leads had been wired in when this was taken:
    Note the volume is the right most pot and the tone is left, and switch reversed. I run the cap from the middle lug of the tone pot through the grounded lug of the volume pot and actually use the cap wire to make the ground so I don't have to bend that lug back, which also gives me a nice loop to solder the ground wire to the jack into. In this case I decided to insulate the cap wire and snake it around the mini-switch to solder it into the back of the middle lug on the tone pot. The white wire from the "neck hot" pole of the switch is running to one of the outer mini-switch lugs and the ground to the other. These are in place but not yet soldered - waiting to also add the pickup leads before soldering. There is a shielded wire with ground and hot running to the jack and the rest of the connections between the two pots are pretty standard. I had to take some pickup measurements because as I recall, John Benson's 4-wire humbucker color codes were not the same a Seymour's, and I did not take any pictures of the wiring with the humbucker and bridge pickups soldered in, but if using SD's wire colors (which you can cross reference to other makers'), I think the pic below is right. It's a DPDT, but you can see from the unused poles you only need a 3-position SPDT on-off-on, as I used, and using that gives lots more room to work.
    on off on P-Rails switch.gif
    So with an SD 4-wire 'bucker, the black wire would go to the same pole as the white wire connecting to the switch in my photo, the red and white wires go to the center pole, and the green and bare go to the pole that's grounded via the black wire in my photo.

    This should give full series humbucker with the mini-switch in the center position, and placing it up or down splits to either slug or screw coils. Other guys please cross check me on this as I don't have my build notebook, just my computer.

    Well, that killed an hour for me here on my thrilling Friday night in Iraq, so, sincerely, THANKS for the time to engage my brain in something fun and imagine myself back in the shop. I hope this helps you with your project.

    Silverwhoosh and Barncaster like this.
  17. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2014
    Beautiful work, and GOOD ON YOU TRexF16!
  18. Barncaster

    Barncaster Doctor of Teleocity

    How’s that big wood pile and the tractor trailer chocks doing Rex?
  19. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    That's all cleaned up. They are having the grand opening on that building project next week and the Prime Minister is going to be here for it. Not a good time for scrounging.

    But it's a big base...
    Barncaster likes this.
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